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Table of Contents

1. Tradition 2. Community 3. Identity 4. View 5. Personhood 6. Practice 7. Experience 8. Place 9. Modernity Bibliography Index

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Holistic overview for understanding different aspects of Daoism as a lived and living religious tradition.

About the Author

Louis Komjathy is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, USA. He is also Founding Co-Chair of the Daoist Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion and Founding Co-Director of the Center for Daoist Studies.


The strength of this book is that Komjathy has immersed himself within the living tradition of Daoism and is able to provide us with detailed accounts of the many factions within the community, the various systems of religious leadership and transmission, the different collections of scripture and the traditional sacred places. It would be difficult to find a more comprehensive account of any of the better known religious traditions. * Religions of South Asia * Louis Komjathy's Daoism: A Guide for the Perplexed dispels the many misconceptions that people have about China's indigenous religion, and sorts through the wealth of recent scholarship about Daoism. In so doing it builds up a clear and authoritative picture of China's indigenous religion that is both reliable and accessible. * James Miller, Professor of Religious Studies and Chinese Studies, Queen's University, Canada * Whether perplexed, bemused, or simply curious, wayfarers along the path of life will find Louis Komjathy's little book a very knowledgeable and helpful guide to the Daoist tradition (formerly Romanized as Taoism). In a concise but accessible way, Komjathy gives the reader a complete map to the interesting and often wonderfully strange historical, cultural, and religious landscape of Daoism. Honest wayfarers may not be completely un-perplexed when finishing this guide, but they will learn that Daoism is a tradition that honors honest perplexity as a crucial step toward self-awareness and spiritual transformation. * Norman Girardot, University Distinguished Professor of Comparative Religions, Lehigh University, USA * A very good book, it succeeds in creating an understandable and very well-founded review of the essential elements of this religion. In particular, the author explains the background and context so vividly that once you've finished reading, you will have a great overview of what the life and the faith of a Daoist represents. -- Martina Darga * Chinese Medicine (Bloomsbury Translation) *

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